Friday, December 5, 2014

Stuffed Pork Chops

Stuffed Pork Chops
2 large pork chops with bone-in
1 head of kale, washed with stems pulled and broken into small pieces
Olive oil
1/2 cup cooked quinoa
1/4 cup raisins, plumped up in hot water
2 shallots, minced
1-1/2 cups dry white wine like a Chardonnay
4 tablespoons canned coconut milk
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
salt and pepper
fresh or dried tarragon
Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.  In a large oven proof skillet over medium high heat, add a tablespoon of olive oil.  Add kale and cook until wilted, set aside.  Slice the middle of the pork chops to create a pocket, do not cut all the way through.  In a small bowl add some of the cooked kale, quinoa, raisins, add a little salt and pepper.  Mix together.  Add this kale mixture to the pockets of the pork chops.  In the same skillet you cooked the kale, add about 2 tablespoons of olive oil and heat over medium-high heat.  Add pork chops and cook for about 3 minutes until underside is golden brown. Flip over and place skillet into oven and cook for about 15 minutes.  Check on temperature of pork you don't want to over cook it.  For grassfed pork it should be cooked between 145 and 160 degree Fahrenheit.  Remove from oven and let rest.  While the pork is cooking in a skillet, add a teaspoon or so of olive oil and heat over medium high heat.  Add shallots and cook until just tender, add wine and simmer until reduced by half.  Add coconut milk, whisking mixture until thick.  Whisk in mustard.  Add a little salt and pepper to taste.  Spoon over cooked pork chops.  Add a sprinkle of fresh or dried tarragon for a finishing touch.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Paleo Pancake Muffins

I found this great recipe for paleo pancakes, I mean this is the best pancake recipe I have ever made. I have made this a couple of times.  I love pancakes on occasion but they do take some time to make.  I decided to take a regular recipe and see how they would do as a muffin.  Making the pancakes into muffins is super easy, clean up is a breeze and it makes for a great breakfast later in the week.

Paleo Pancake Muffins
1 cup unsweetened coconut milk (not canned milk)
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
5 large eggs
1/4 cup packed almond flour
1/2 cup coconut flour
1/2 cup tapioca flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 tablespoons coconut oil
2 tablespoons honey
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  Place all ingredients into a blender in the order they are listed.  Blend until smooth, making sure to scrape down the sides.   In a 12 cup muffin pan, place muffin liners into each cup (using the liners makes for easy removal, I used parchment muffin paper).  Pour batter into each cup about half way to start and then filling them up with the rest of the batter.  Don't fill the muffin cup full otherwise it will spill over.  Place into oven and bake for about 13 minutes.  Muffins are done when they are inserted with a toothpick and it comes out clean.   Let cool slightly, remove from pan, remove paper and place on a plate.  Drizzle with maple syrup and some fresh fruit.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Butternut Squash Lasagna with Cashew Cheese

I found this recipe on a blog called Plaid & Paleo.  It is amazing!  We literally felt like we were eating something that we weren't supposed to, yes it really is that amazing.  I have to thank Plaid & Paleo for the recipe.

Butternut Squash Lasagna with Cashew Cheese

(This recipe is Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Paleo)

For the Italian Seasoning:
3/4 teaspoon dried basil
3/4 teaspoon dried oregano
3/4 teaspoon dried rosemary
1 teaspoon dried marjoram
1 teaspoon dried thyme
3/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

For the Sauce:
1 - 15 ounce can tomato sauce
1 - 6 ounce can tomato paste
1/2 cup roasted red peppers
1/2 tablespoon italian seasoning (from above)
1/2 tablespoon dried oregano, crushed
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

For the Meat Portion:
1 pound grass fed beef
1 tablespoon italian seasoning (from above)
1 teaspoon ghee or olive oil
1 red onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 butternut squash
Cashew Cheese (recipe below)

Heat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.  Blend all italian spice seasoning with a mortar and pestle.  For the sauce, mix all ingredients together in a sauce pan.  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer. Cook uncovered for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Add in 1 tablespoon olive oil.  Using a immersion blender, puree sauce until smooth.
Mix remaining seasoning with the ground beef.  Heat ghee in skillet over medium-high heat.  Toss in onions and garlic.  Cook until garlic is fragrant.  Add meat and brown, breaking the meat into small pieces as it cooks.
Cut the bottom of the squash off to sturdy it and peel. To peel use a knife down the sides.  Cut the squash where the round part and neck meet.  Now cut each of those pieces lengthwise.  Remove seeds and stringy bits.  Cut squash into 1/2 inch planks.

To assemble: Using a 9x9 inch baking dish, spread a small layer of sauce evenly on the bottom.  Lay an even layer of squash planks, doing your best not to overlap.  Scoop on a layer of meat.  Repeat process until you run out of ingredients, but make sure you save enough sauce to be the final layer.  Bake for 40 minutes, remove from oven and add some of the cheese, cook for another 5 minutes.

My Notes on this recipe:  Using the full amount of red pepper will make it a spicy sauce, if you don't like it spicy just reduce the amount used.  I think this recipe would be great with a ground italian sausage.   Also, I think the next time I make this I will add a layer of cashew cheese on each layer.

Cashew Cheese
I have made cashew cheese once before and the last time it was okay, but this recipe is great.  I also used a food processor the last time and my vitamix this time.  The blender makes a world of difference.   You don't need to let this cheese sit for using it for the recipe, it can be used immediately.

1-1/2 cups plain cashew nuts (not roasted or salted)
1/4 cup water
2 tablespoons dry white wine
2 teaspoons raw apple cider vinegar
2 cloves garlic
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
Place nuts into a bowl, cover with water and let sit overnight.  Drain the nuts and place them into a blender along with the other ingredients.  Mix thoroughly until pureed, stopping and scrapping down the sides.  Add a little more water as necessary.  I added just enough to make it the consistency of a thick sour cream.
Transfer to a bowl, cover and let stand somewhere cool for 24 hours before placing it in the refrigerator.  The cheese will keep for another 5 days.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Baked Beans

I had a picnic to go to for work where we each had to bring something to share (a pot luck).  I really wanted to make baked beans but every recipe I came across has sugar in it.  I do not consume sugar (except the natural variety like fruit, honey, and maple syrup).  So I found a recipe and adapted it to what I needed.

This recipe is Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Sugar Free, Nut Free and Paleo (only if you eat legumes)

Baked Beans
This makes a double batch that will feed about 12 people
2 pounds dried navy beans
2 pounds bacon, chopped
2 onions, chopped
2 jalapenos, seeded and chopped
1/2 tomato paste
1/2 cup molasses
1/2 cup honey plus 2 tablespoons (I used a mixture of a darker honey and then the tablespoons of a lighter honey like clover)
Vegetable broth
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 teaspoons fresh black pepper
4 teaspoons kosher salt

Soak beans in a plastic container overnight in just enough cold water to submerge them completely.
Heat oven to 250 degrees Fahrenheit.  In a cast iron dutch oven over medium heat, stir in the bacon, onion, and jalapenos until enough fat has rendered from the bacon to soften the onions, about 5 minutes.  Stir in tomato paste, honey, and molasses.   Drain the beans and reserve the soaking liquid.  Add the drained beans to the pan.  Place the soaking liquid in a measuring cup and add enough vegetable broth to equal 8 cups of liquid.  Add the liquid to the pan and bring to a boil over high heat.  Add in cayenne, black pepper and salt.  Give them a stir and cover with lid. Place pan in the oven for 6 to 8 hours, or until beans are tender.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Overnight Coconut Oats

I came across this recipe yesterday and thought what the heck I might as well try it.  It was super easy to make, only took about 5 minutes.  The recipe came from the blog My Whole Food Life.  I tweaked it a little bit to accommodate what I had available.

Overnight Coconut Oats
Makes 1 serving
1/2 cup gluten free rolled oats
1/3 to 1/2 cup half almond or coconut milk **
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons unsweetened shredded coconut
2 teaspoons chia seeds
2 teaspoons maple syrup
fruit - strawberries or blueberries
Put everything in a jar and mix.  Cover and place in refrigerator overnight.  Top with your favorite fruit.
**I made two servings of this, one was with 1/3 cup of milk and the other with 1/2 cup.  They were both really good and the 1/2 cup one was not watery.  Experiment with this to get it to your taste.  The author of the blog where this recipe came from makes several jars for the week, so she can grab it and go.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Crock Pot Pork Barbecue

If you are a regular follower of my blog you have probably noticed that I have been absent for a while.  I have been really busy.  I am currently a student pilot.  I am working on getting my private pilots license and so a lot of my free time I am trying to study (it has been awhile since I was in school and trying to get back into a study habit is hard).  I will try to put my recipes out here for everyone to enjoy.

Crock Pot Pork Barbecue
1 large onion, peeled and sliced thin
1 large pork butt, with some of the excess fat removed
1 tablespoon onion powder
In a crock pot add the onion, place pork, fat side up, on top and sprinkle with onion powder (if you are wondering why onion powder and onions - I add it because it adds another dimension of flavor).  Turn crock pot to high and let cook all day (about 6 hours).  The pork should be able to be pulled apart with a fork when it is done.  Just before serving, keeping the pork in the crock pot, using forks, shred the meat and remove bone if there is one.  The pork and the onions will come together.  Serve on your favorite bun or by itself.  I added a little cooked bacon and some homemade sauce (see recipes below).

North Carolina Vinegar Sauce
1 cup cider vinegar
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh black pepper
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (if you wanted it hotter you could also add some cayenne pepper or your favorite Tabasco sauce)
Mix all ingredients.  I mixed it into a mason jar so that you could just shake the ingredients to mix them.

Tomato Vinegar Sauce
3/4 cup cider vinegar
1/4 cup ketchup
1-1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (if you wanted it hotter you could also add some cayenne pepper or your favorite Tabasco sauce)
Mix all ingredients.  I mixed it into a mason jar so that you could just shake the ingredients to mix them.

Mustard Sauce
1/2 cup white vinegar
6 ounces yellow mustard
1/4 of a onion, minced
8 tablespoons of water
8 tablespoons of tomato puree
1/2 tablespoon paprika
3 cloves of garlic, minced (I use a garlic press)
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
Mix all ingredients in a saucepan and simmer for about 20-25 minutes.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Grilled Brussell Sprouts

We love love love brussell sprouts in this house.  We had decided to grill some chicken and have a little salad for dinner.  Instead of cooking the sprouts in the house we decided to cook them on the grill.  They came out fantastic, super easy and easy to clean up afterward.

Grilled Brussell Sprouts
Cut bottoms off sprouts, cut in half. Place on a sheet of aluminum foil. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with a little salt. Fold foil in half and pinch all the sides to make a sealed packet. Place on a 500 degree grill, direct heat and cook for 5 minutes, flip packet and cook for 5 minutes more, remove to indirect heat and cook for 10 minutes. Cut packet open and serve.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Black Cod with a Saffron Creme Sauce

I always come across recipes, I guess you could say I like to read them.  I adapt most recipes to make them my own (due to allergies, etc).

This recipe is (Dairy Free, Gluten Free, and Paleo)

Black Cod with Saffron Creme Sauce
2 black cod filets (this came from SeaBear)
olive oil
1 cup white wine (I used a Chardonnay from Veramar Vineyards)
2 tablespooon ghee
2 tablespoons full fat coconut milk (from a can)
pinch of salt
pinch of saffron
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  Place cod on a cookie sheet and drizzle with a little bit of olive oil.  Place fish into oven and bake for about 15 minutes (don't overcook this fish).

In a saucepan, add wine.  Bring to a boil and reduce to about half.  Whisk in ghee and coconut milk, whisk thoroughly.  Add saffron, continue to whisk and cook over high heat; continue to whisk.  Taste  and adjust with a pinch of salt if needed.

Served with a baked sweet potato and sauteed kale

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Paleo Steak Marinade

This recipe came from a friend many years ago.  It was my go to marinate for steaks.  I adapted this recipe for a paleo type diet.

Steak Marinade
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 cup coconut aminos
1 teaspoon ground ginger
4 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon cracked black pepper
Combine all ingredients into a bowl and mix thoroughly.   Place marinade over steaks and marinate for at least 1 hour or overnight.

We grilled steaks, had a side of grilled Japanese sweet potatoes, and a side salad.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Homemade Granola

Every time I go to the grocery store I look at the ingredients in already made granola.  Each time I read the list of ingredients I am disappointed that each one has sugar, rice syrup or some other type of sugar.  I guess I am expecting a company to use natural ingredients like honey or maple syrup.  A friend of mine gave me a recipe after we had a long discussion about what is in pre-made granola.  I tailored this recipe to what I wanted in it as well as what spices I could actually eat due to allergies.

Homemade Granola
8 cups organic gluten free old fashioned rolled oats
1 cup sliced organic almonds
1 cup raw pecans
1 cup walnuts
1 cup pumpkin seeds

1 cup sunflower oil
3/4 cup honey
1/3 cup maple syrup
1-1/2 teaspoons sea salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon cardamom
1/8 teaspoon ground ginger

1/4 cup ground flax seeds
1 cup unsweetened coconut flakes (like Bob's Red Mill)

1 cup dried blueberries
1 cup dried strawberries (chopped slightly)
1 cup dried cherries (chopped slightly)
1 cup golden raisins
1/2 cup mulberries

Preheat oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit.

Toss together oats and nuts (EXCEPT FOR SLICED ALMONDS) in a bowl.

Toss together, flax seeds, sliced almonds and coconut in a bowl, set aside.

Toss together, blueberries, strawberries, cherries, raisins and mulberries in a bowl, set aside.

Whisk together, oil, honey, maple syrup, salt, vanilla, cinnamon, cardamom and ginger; mix well.  Pour over oat and nut mixture.  Toss oats and nuts until everything is coated.  Divide by pouring into two large baking sheets (this will allow room to stir).  Place in oven and bake, stirring every 15 minutes (if you are using two pans on two different shelves, swap pans on shelves every 15 minutes).

At the halfway mark (after baked for 30 minutes) add, sliced almonds, flax seeds and coconut, dividing between the two pans, stir to incorporate.

Bake until the mixture is a golden brown, about 60 minutes.  Do not it over brown.  Remove from oven.

Add dried fruit to pans and toss to coat.

Lay wax paper onto counter, enough to cover and allow for room.  Pour granola on wax paper and let cool, stirring occasionally.  Once cool, place in Ziploc bags (do not fully seal bags).  Later that day or next day, place granola into freezer bags.  Place about 2 cups per bag and freeze.  Freezing will keep the granola crunchy.

I found that this recipe made about 14 cups of granola.

 Granola cooling 
Granola ready for the freezer
A bowl of granola with coconut milk

Some notes 
Other spices you can add:
Reduce about of cinnamon to 1/2 teaspoon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves (optional)
1/8 teaspoon ground mace (optional)
You can also add other dried fruits:
3/4 cup cranberries

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Baked Salmon with Cucumber Jalapeno Relish

This recipe is Gluten Free, Egg Free, Dairy Free and Paleo.

Baked Salmon with Cucumber Jalapeno Relish
2 salmon filets
Olive oil
Sea salt
1 cucumber, peeled, seeded, and diced
1 shallot, minced
1 jalapeno, seeded and minced
2 tablespoons fresh mint leaves, minced
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
Preheat oven to 500 degrees Fahrenheit.  Place salmon onto a cookie sheet, skin side down.  Rub with olive oil and sprinkle with salt.  Place in oven and reduce heat to 275 degrees Fahrenheit. Bake for 10 minutes or until done.  Place remaining ingredients into a small bowl with a little bit of salt and mix together.  Serve over cooked salmon.
**Note: When removing the salmon from the cookie sheet, place the edge of the spatula/server just under the fish and on top of the skin.  The skin will stay on the pan and the fish will slide right off.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Chicken Chili

I really wanted something different to do with chicken breasts than to just bake them.  I thought to myself about how boring it would be to have just baked chicken (not that there is anything wrong with that).  I decided to make a chili, here is what I came up with.

This recipe is Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Egg Free, Nut Free and Paleo

Chicken Chili
1 large yellow onion, coarsely chopped
1/8 cup olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 large green bell pepper, coarsely chopped
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin (if you grind it yourself from whole seeds it has much more flavor)
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 teaspoons kosher salt
2 cans - 28 ounces whole peeled tomatoes, undrained
1/4 cup minced fresh basil
3 boneless skinless chicken breasts
Cook onions in olive oil over medium high heat for 10 minutes, until translucent.  Add garlic and cook for 1 minute.  Add green pepper, chili powder, cumin, red pepper, cayenne and salt.  Cook for 1 minute.  Crush tomatoes by placing them into a food processor and pulsing.  Add tomatoes to pot as well as basil.   Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes stirring occasionally.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Rub chicken breasts with olive olive and place on a cookie sheet.  Sprinkle chicken with salt.  Place in oven and bake for 30 minutes or until just cooked. Remove from oven and let cool.  Cut chicken into large chunks.  Add to chili and simmer, uncovered for another 20 minutes.  Serve.
**Note: If you don't want it too spicy cut back on the amount of red pepper and cayenne pepper.  Or add more if you want it spicier.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Turkey Bolognese with Spiralized Zucchini Noodles

My daughter got us this kitchen gadget called a Spiralizer that you can make noodles out of raw vegetables.  I have used it once before but this was my first real recipe.  It is so easy and it was great to have something that resembled pasta but without the wheat.   This recipe is an adaptation from a recipe on the Inspiralized blog.  I had to adapt it because of allergies, but also because I wanted to.

This recipe is Gluten Free, Egg Free, Dairy Free and Paleo

Turkey Bolognese with Spiralized Zucchini Noodles
2 to 2-1/2 zucchini, blade C
1 pound ground turkey
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/3 cup red onion, chopped
2 carrots, diced
2 teaspoons red pepper flakes (less if you don't like it spicy)
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 - 14 ounce cans of diced tomatoes, do not drain
3 teaspoons tomato paste
1/4 cup water
1/3 cup fresh basil, chopped
1 tablespoon dried oregano
Sea salt
In a large skillet add olive oil and heat over medium high heat.  Add garlic and cook for a few seconds.  Add in red pepper flakes and onions, cook until they begin to soften about 2 minutes.  Add carrots and cook for 1 minute.  Add ground turkey and crumble it up as it cooks.  Continue to cook until the turkey is no longer pink and cook thoroughly.  Add in water and cook until it just about evaporates.  Add in tomatoes, tomato paste, oregano, and salt.  Bring to a boil and then lower heat and let simmer for 15 minutes.  Add chopped basil in the last 5 minutes of cooking.   Add zucchini noodles, toss to incorporate (it will be a little awkward at first, just keep trying to stir them in), and cook for about 4 minutes.  Serve.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Lamb and Beef Meatloaf

Decided to make meatloaf tonight with a combination of ground lamb and ground beef.  It really hit the spot.

This recipe is Gluten Free, Dairy Free and Paleo

Lamb and Beef Meatloaf
1 pound ground beef
1 pound ground lamb
2 yellow onions, diced
2 yellow bell peppers, diced
1/2 cup tomato sauce
2 eggs, whisked
3/4 cup almond flour
2 teaspoons dried basil
2 teaspoons dried thyme
2 teaspoons dried parsley
salt and pepper
olive oil
Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.  In a large skillet add a little bit of olive oil and heat over medium high heat.  Add peppers and onion to skillet and cook until onion is tender.   Once done cooking add to a large bowl and add all other ingredients and mix thoroughly.  Place meat mixture into a greased loaf pan.  Bake for about 30 minutes.  Spread some sauce over the top and continue to bake.  Add more as needed and cook for about 15 mintues more.

For the sauce:
3/4 cup tomato sauce
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried parsley
Mix all ingredients into a small bowl.   Spread on top of cooking meatloaf.  You can also cook this sauce on the stove and use over the cooked meatloaf on your plate.

Served it with a sweet potato

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Braised Beef Short Ribs

Nothing like a dish that cooks in the oven for a couple of hours to make the house smell so good.

This recipe is Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Egg Free

Braised Beef Short Ribs
8 whole grassfed beef short ribs
kosher salt and black pepper to taste
1/4 cup gluten free flour
6 pieces of pancetta, diced
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, diced
3 carrots, diced
2 shallots, diced
2 cups red wine (I used a 2010 Syrah from Argentina)
2 cups homemade chicken broth (I didn't have homemade beef broth)
2 sprigs thyme
2 sprigs rosemary
Salt and pepper ribs, then dredge in flour.  Set aside.  In a large dutch oven, cook pancetta over medium heat until completely crispy and all the fat is rendered.  Remove pancetta and set aside.  Do not discard the grease.  Add olive oil to the pan with the pancetta grease, and raise the heat.  Brown ribs on all sides, about 45 seconds per side.  Remove ribs and set aside.  Turn heat to medium.  Add carrots, onions and shallots to pan and cook for 2 minutes.  Pour in wine and scrape bottom of pan.  Bring to a boil and cook 2 minutes.  Add broth, 1 teaspoon salt and black pepper.  Taste and add more salt if needed.  Add ribs to liquid.  They should be almost completely submerged.  Add thyme, rosemary and cooked pancetta.  Put a lid on the pan and place into oven.  Cook at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 2 hours, then reduce the heat to 325 and cook for additional 30 to 45 minutes.  Ribs should be fork tender and falling off the bone.  Remove pan from oven and allow to sit for at least 20 minutes, lid on, before serving.  At the last minute, skim fat off the top of the liquid.  Serve ribs over mashed sweet potatoes and spooning a little juice over.

As a side I cooked some fresh spinach.

Gingerbread Mini Loaves with Cinnamon Maple Frosting

I wanted a sweet treat this afternoon so I pulled out my Paleo Indulgences Cookbook.  I found this recipe and thought I would give it a try.

These recipes are Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Refined Sugar Free and Paleo.

Gingerbread Mini Loaves
Dry Ingredients:
1/3 cup coconut flour, sifted
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
3 teaspoons cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon ginger

Wet Ingredients:
4 eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1/4 cup coconut milk
2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  Place dry ingredients in a medium bowl, whisk to combine.  Add the wet ingredients, except for coconut oil, and blend well with a hand mixer.  With the mixer on low, slowly add the coconut oil.  Blend well.  Let batter sit for 5 minutes to thicken.  Grease 2 mini loaf pans with palm shortening.  Divide batter evenly between both pans.  Bake for 33 to 38 minutes, or until center of bread is firm to touch and a toothpick inserted comes out clean.   Cool 5 minutes in the pans.  Remove loaves from pans and cool completely on a wire rack.  Frost with Cinnamon Maple Frosting.

Cinnamon Maple Frosting
1/2 cup palm shortening
1/3 cup pure maple syrup
pinch sea salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 tablespoons arrowroot starch
2 teaspoons coconut flour, sifted
2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
Place all ingredients, except coconut oil, in a medium bowl, and use a hand mixer to blend until fully combined.  With the mixer on low, slowly add the coconut oil, blending until completely smooth.  If frosting is a bit too soft, refrigerate until firm, about 1 to 2 hours.  Blend again to fluff up.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Chroi Pollo (Chicken with Chorizo Sausage)

I have a confusion to make.  Whenever we eat out at a Mexican restaurant I always order their Chori Pollo.  It doesn't matter if we are someplace new, this is what I order, (provided it is on the menu) period.  Forget the other stuff on the menu, I head right to this every time.

I decided to give my own try at making it at home.  I think this came out really good.  We have a local farm who makes their own Chroizo Sausage which is really good, just not as spicy as some, but still very good.

Chori Pollo 
2 chicken breasts, pounded flat to about 1/4 inch
2 limes, juiced
1/2 pound of chorizo sausage, removed from casing
Toppings and sides: Avocado, refried beans, diced tomato, lettuce, queso blanco cheese, sour cream, corn tortillas.
Place chicken into a ziploc bag and add lime juice.  Place bag in refrigerator and let chicken marinate for about 30 minutes.  In a large skillet heated over medium high heat, add chorizo.   Chop the sausage up as it cooks.  Cook until done.  With a slotted spoon, remove chorizo into a bowl, cover and keep warm.  In the same skillet add chicken breasts.  If there is not enough oil leftover from the chorizo, add a little bit of olive oil.  Cook breasts until tender and cooked all the way through.  You can either add the sausage back into the pan with the chicken and warm it back up or just serve it over the chicken.

Mine without cheese

My husband's with cheese and sour cream on the side

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Pumpkin Pie Chia Seed Pudding

This recipe is Gluten Free, Dairy Free and Paleo.

I have seen a few recipes for Chia Seed pudding floating around on the Internet.  I finally decided to make one of them.  I used a recipe PaleOMG posted but tweaked her recipe somewhat due to what I had available and allergies.  This is a super easy to make recipe and it made for a great mid morning snack at work.

Here is the recipe for what I made.

Pumpkin Pie Chia Seed Pudding
1 - 1/2 cups carton unsweetened coconut milk
1/2 canned pumpkin puree
2 tablespoons almond butter
1 tablespoon raw honey
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
(I omitted 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg and 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves due to allergies)
pinch of salt
1/4 cup chia seeds
Place all ingredients into a bowl, except chia seeds, and whisk until smooth.  Pour mixture into one large resealable jar or 3 smaller jars (I used 3 pint canning jars).  Sprinkle chia seeds over top (if using more than one jar divide the 1/4 cup of chia seeds).  Seal jars and shake until mixed.  Place in refrigerator overnight.

Pudding ready to go into the refrigerator

The next day, ready to eat

Monday, January 13, 2014

Salmon Cakes with Avocado Basil Zucchini Noodles

These recipes are gluten-free, dairy free, and paleo.

Salmon Cakes
1 small onion, finely chopped
Olive oil
1 cup or more almond flour
2  - 6 ounce salmon filets, skin and bones removed
1 egg, beaten
1 tablespoon homemade mayonnaise
1 tablespoon dried minced parsley
1/4 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
1/4 teaspoon salt
Heat about 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat.  Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender and lightly browned, about 5 minutes.  Set aside and let cool.

Finely chop fish into small cubes about 1/4 of an inch.  Place fish into a bowl, add 1/3 cup almond flour, onion, egg, mayonnaise, parsley, Tabasco and salt.  Gently mix all ingredients until well combined.  Place bowl into refrigerator to chill slightly.

Pour remaining almond flour (and you may need more) into a shallow dish.  Form salmon mixture into 4 patties.  Dip patties into almond flour to coat on all sides.

Add some olive oil to the skillet and heat over medium high heat.  Cook salmon cakes for about 8 minutes, turn and cook until golden brown and fish is cooked through.

From our daughter, she gave us this really cool kitchen instrument that you can make vegetable noodles with. It is called a Paderno Spiral Vegetable Slicer.  It is really cool.  We actually tried it one night with some Japanese Sweet Potatoes.  Tonight I used it with zucchini.

Avocado-Basil Zucchini Noodles
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
1 avocado
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon dried basil
1 garlic clove, minced
In a food processor, add all ingredients and blend until smooth.
1 zucchini, spiral cut
Bring a pan of water to a boil, add zucchini and cook slightly.  Drain.  In a bowl toss zucchini and sauce together and serve.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Halibut Cheeks with Coconut Curry Sauce

I don't know about you but I like to have a glass of wine while I am cooking dinner.  Tonight was no exception.  I have this very nice Viognier from a Virginia vineyard.  The bottle was open I had a glass so I figure why not cook with it.  I used it in everything with the exception of the sweet potato. I always go by the motto of if you can't drink it, don't cook with it!

Halibut Cheeks with Coconut Curry Sauce
For the Coconut Curry Sauce:
1 can of coconut milk
2 teaspoons curry
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
Some wine (just to thin it out a little)
Sea salt to taste
In a mixing bowl, add coconut milk, curry, ginger and cinnamon; whisk together.  Add a little bit of wine.  Add some salt to taste.  Place milk ingredients into a small saucepan and simmer.  Whisk on occasion to keep it well mixed and adjust ingredients based on taste.  Cook until hot, don't let it boil.

For Halibut Cheeks:
Halibut cheeks
Coconut oil
Sea salt
Pat dry the halibut and sprinkle with a little bit of sea salt.  In a skillet add a little bit of coconut oil and heat over medium high heat.  Add halibut cheeks and let cook for about 4 minutes per side depending on the size of the cheeks.  I had one really large one that took a while, while the others were done much quicker.  Remove the cheeks that are done to a serving dish.

Serve cheeks over sauteed kale.  Drizzle sauce over halibut cheeks and kale.

Sauteed Kale
1 large bunch of kale, washed, stems removed
2 shallots, minced
Sea salt
Some wine
Coconut oil
In a large skillet add a little bit of coconut oil and heat over medium high heat.  Add shallots, cook for 1 minute.  Add kale and toss with coconut oil and shallots.  Continue to stir so that the kale cooks evenly.  Add a small amount of wine and quickly cover skillet.  Cook for about 5-10 minutes, just until kale begins to wilt and turn a bright green.  Remove from skillet to a serving bowl.  Cover until ready to serve.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Cooked Navy Beans

I was in one of our great restaurants/kitchen provisions/deli/bistro called Town Kitchen and Provisions yesterday and they have this section with pre-made items along with other items that you can take home and make something of your own.  I saw that they had their North Country bacon (usually sold sliced how you want) chopped in a container.  I knew I had to get some and the first thing that came to mind to use it for was to make a pot of cooked beans.

Cooked Navy Beans
2 cups navy beans, sorted, rinsed and soaked overnight
A couple of pieces of thick cut bacon
1 large onion, chopped
4 small carrots, chopped (these came out of our garden)
6 cups water
olive oil
In a large pot, heat some olive oil over medium high heat.  Add onions and carrots; cook until tender.  Add bacon and cook slightly.  Drain the beans that have soaked overnight and re-rinse them and drain.  Add beans to pot. Add enough water until the beans are covered.  Bring to a boil, cover, turn down heat and let simmer, stirring occasionally.  It will take about 3 hours for the beans to become tender, especially if you let them cook nice and slow. About half way through the cooking, check to see how the beans are doing, if the beans are cooked but still somewhat crunchy, add some salt to taste.  Let continue to cook, adding more salt later if needed.

Waffles with Strawberries

I made this recipe the other day, it was actually a pancake recipe.  What I found was that the batter for the pancakes was really thick.  I thought for sure that this same batter would make great waffles.  I made waffles this morning and I actually like the waffle consistency better.

Waffles with Strawberries (wheat free, dairy free)
For the Strawberries:
1 cup frozen strawberries, thawed
2 tablespoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons honey
Place all ingredients into a saucepan, mix together and let simmer.  Once strawberries have broken down, bring heat to low to let thicken slightly.  Cook until you get the consistency you want.

For the Waffles or Pancakes:
3 eggs, whisked
1/2 cup almond milk or coconut milk plus 3 tablespoons (carton, unsweetened)
2 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup coconut flour
1/2 cup tapioca flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
pinch of salt
In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, honey and vanilla.  In a small bowl add coconut flour, tapioca flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  Mix together to incorporate the dry ingredients. Then, while continuously whisking, slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients.  Whisk until batter is well combined.  For waffles: Oil a waffle maker and add a scoopful of batter and cook until done.  For pancakes: Over medium heat, grease a large pan.  Once pan is hot, use a large ladle to pour onto pan to make a pancake.  Once pancake has cooked and bubbles begin to surface on top, flip it.  About 2-3 minutes per side.   Top with strawberries and maple syrup.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Cabbage Meatball Soup

This is a story about one pound of ground beef.  My husband, Mike, thawed out the other day a pound of ground beef with the hopes of surprising me with a meatloaf.  Due to the weather, plans changed because of my schedule.  So I thought of something to use that ground beef for.  I instantly thought of stuffed cabbage, in the crock pot, cooking all day.  Mike still has a garden going with some winter vegetables, including cabbage.  So I asked him to go out and get a head of cabbage for dinner.  He came back inside and said the cabbages are kinda small I don't think they will work for the stuffed cabbage.  So I immediately thought of soup.  I was sure that I could do something with the cabbage and the beef.  This soup is what I came up with.  The ingredients are an approximate of what I used, but you could certainly tweak this recipe for your tastes.

Cabbage Meatball Soup
For the meatballs:
1 pound ground beef
1 pound ground pork
2 eggs
1 teaspoon sea salt
2 cloves crushed garlic
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 onion, finely chopped
Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.  Place all the ingredients into a large bowl and mix thoroughly with your hands to incorporate the ingredients.  Roll meatballs into about a golf ball size.  Place meatballs onto a greased cookie sheet and place in oven.  Bake for 30 minutes.

For the soup:
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 carrots, diced
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried parsley
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon paprika
6 cups homemade chicken and vegetable broth (I used 4 cups chicken broth and 2 cups vegetable broth)
1 - 14 ounce can diced tomatoes
2 small heads of cabbage, chopped
Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium high heat.  Add the onions and carrots and cook until soft, about 5 minutes.  Add spices and garlic, stir.  Add tomatoes and stir.  Stir in cabbage.  Cover and cook for 30 minutes.   When the meatballs are done, add them to the soup and cook for about 10 minutes longer.  Serve.